Health & Wellness

At-Home Cardio Workouts [That Go Way Beyond The Treadmills]

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Sure, you can lace up your kicks and venture outside for a run. You could even head to the gym and hop on an elliptical or treadmill. But, sometimes, you just don’t want to leave your house to get your workout on. 

And when you can’t or don’t want to leave the comfort of your own home, you still have everything you need to get your heart pumping and sweat flowing. Just find a little space to move in your living room and choose your favorite cardio vibes.

What is Cardio?

Woman jumping rope in living room

Cardio is a type of aerobic exercise that increases your heart rate and oxygen flow throughout your body. Incorporating cardio exercises helps strengthen your heart (it’s like any other muscle on your body) and it:

  • Improves your stamina
  • Increases your muscular endurance
  • Decreases your risk of heart disease
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Improves circulation
  • Eliminates toxins in your body
  • Boosts mental health

Related: 15 Healthy Breakfasts On The Go [Sweet, Savory And Heart Healthy]

What Cardio Can I Do At Home?

There are numerous ways to get your heart pumping at home with little to no equipment. Before we dive into more traditional fitness cardio exercises, remember that the best cardio workouts don’t look or feel like traditional exercise at all. 

They can include activities like:


Is there anything better than blasting your fave tunes and dancing like a complete goon? Not only is dance an incredible cardio workout, but it engages more muscles than running due to your ability to move through different planes. Dancing incorporates your arms, legs, glute and core, all while burning fat. Cool, right? Feel the tunes, move, shake, bounce and shimmy your way into a high-intensity sweat.  

Jumping Rope or Trampoline

Time to wake up the kid inside of you. Grab your jump rope or hop on your kid’s trampoline and whip out your best moves. This is a great way to get your heart rate to rise while also strengthening your arms, shoulders, core, legs and glutes, getting an entire body workout. Jumping also increases stability in your bones and joints. Bonus!

Related: 11 Best Squat-Proof Leggings

Staircase Climb

If you have a set of stairs at home, you can turn them into your gym for the day. Climbing or jogging up stairs fires up your hamstrings, glutes, quads, and core. Race up to the top, then walk or jog your way back down. This interval-style creates a HIIT workout in no time. Change it up by skipping steps as you climb.

You don’t always need to do a “workout” to reap the benefits of movement. But, if you are looking for some of the top exercises to break a sweat, carry on!

Top 15 Cardio Exercises For Home Workouts

Man doing a pushup with toddler on his back

These use zero equipment and all improve your cardiovascular health. Many of these can also be found in The 40 Best Bodyweight Exercises and work both the upper and lower body. 

  1. Jumping Jacks
  2. Mountain Climbers
  3. Squat Jacks 
  4. Push-Ups
  5. Plank Jacks
  6. Skater Jumps
  7. High Knees
  8. Tuck Jumps
  9. Lunge Jumps
  10. Pike Jumps
  11. Burpees
  12. Star Jumps
  13. Box Jumps
  14. Shoulder Taps
  15. Squat Thrusters

20-Minute Cardio Workout

Perform each pair of exercises for two rounds before moving on. Work for 40 seconds, rest for 20 seconds in between exercises. Each movement is demonstrated in the video below with high impact and low impact versions of the exercises shown. Add a quick warm-up and cool down for a complete home workout. We recommend dancing, of course!

  1. 4 High Knees, 2 Jumping Jacks
  2. Sumo Squat Rotations
  1. Runner Lunge Jumps (Start with your right leg forward, then your left leg forward and the second round). 
  2. Mountain Climbers
  1. Skater Jumps
  2. Squat Thruster w/ Plank Jacks
  1. Plank Shoulder Taps
  2. Burpee Jumping Jacks

Who needs fancy equipment, a gym membership, or a personal trainer? Turn on some tunes, give yourself some space to start moving. You will be well on your way to a fun, full-body cardio workout right in the comfort of your own home.

You may also be interested in: What Is HIIT? [A Beginner’s Guide To High-Intensity Interval Training]


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